The battle of Gloster Hill Korea 1951

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Trip_Wire, Feb 11, 2008.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    This letter and pictures (if I can get them posted.) Were sent to a Korean Ranger, who was a POW, during the war in Korea. He passed it on for dissemination to other Korean War Rangers. I thought many here might enjoy them as well.

    From letter:

    "I just found an ex comrade who had some decent photos and I've attached them. MAD-16 (nothing to do with the loony bin - the guys name is Mick A Dellow) is of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Some of these lads would have been fellow POWs with you from whom you would have picked up strange pronunciation of the Queen's English. An English film star called Michael Caine was a Private in the RNF in Korea (before he was a film star, of course).

    In MAD-18 Col. Carr VC was a POW. You may recall the battle of Gloster Hill where the Regiment fought a rearguard action to delay the Chinese from getting to Seoul. They lost a hell of a lot of men and what men were left after running out of ammo were taken prisoner.

    MAD-19 are the "other ranks" (as we were quaintly referred to) who were proudly marching from the troopship at Southampton. You may have known a few of these lads.

    MAD-22 These Black Watch were on the Hook in November '52 three days before this photo was taken and one of our tanks was called up to the top of the hill to support them. Taff Lewis, the driver, was badly wounded when a bazooka hit the front of the tank. Williamson the Wireless Operator pulled Lewis through into the turret and reversed the tank back down the hill to offload Lewis and get a replacement driver.

    They used to call Lewis "The Beast" on account of his body hair. They got him out of the tank onto a stretcher to take him to the Aid Post but after falling off three times due to the incoming shells he said, "Bugger this, I'll walk". And with that he gathered his protruding guts into his arms and walked up to see the medics.

    After a cup of tea (how English can you get?) the new driver, Bill Ward, started back up the hill. On the way the tank caught fire around the gun mounting. Williamson climbed out of the turret and in full view of the enemy snipers he tackled the blaze jumped back in the tank and they continued along the ridge before going over the top so the gun could point down the other side.They stayed there all night blasting away as attack after attack came at the Black Watch trenches. They had one of these big US search lights mounted on the main gun which helped the crew to see but it also gave the enemy something to shoot at. There were search lights shining on them from other hill tops in the rear which also lit up the tank. By the next morning the Chinese finally gave up and a platoon of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry came and cleared up the remnants.

    I was talking on the phone to Ron 'grouch's Marks the other day. He was the tank gunner on that night. He recalled that as the tank prepared to reverse back over the hill the Infantrymen formed two lines either side of the tank as it pulled away over the hill. No saluting or cheering or hand clapping. Just a silent gesture that said good job - well done. The commander of the tank was Lt. Michael Anstice son of an Admiral. He was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery and leadership in action.

    MAD-24 These lads were from my home town of Halifax in Yorkshire, Where the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment have a barracks. They took part in the third battle of the Hook in March 1953. They were supported by the 1st Royal Tank Regiment. My brother was in that regiment. The Chinese really wanted to capture this feature to establish the hill top overlooking the Samichon Valley before the ceasefire was signed.

    I read a very good book which was written by J. D. Hollands who was a 2nd. Lieutenant in the 'Dukes'. He took part in that battle. But he had to fight just as hard against his superior officers who lived up to the title of another famous book about the 1914-18 war entitled "Lions led by donkeys". After reading Hollands' book all I can say is that I was glad I wasn't in the Infantry. It would be nice if you could get that book from your local library. It would give you a better insight into the way the British army works.

    Best regards

    Your "Mucker" Stan"

    Attached Files:

  2. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Mad 16

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  3. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


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  4. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


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  5. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


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  6. It is a fact that many of these serving soldiers were National Servicemen.
    An awful lot did not come back.
  7. Excellent photos,Trip, any KSLI or Middlesex?
  8. Great pictures Trip.

    I reckon that last one should go in "search for an ally star".
  9. I think MAD-18 also shows the Gosters' adjutant - Anthony Farrar-Hockley who ended up as a General and whose book on the Imjin battle and his time as a POW is a classic.

    Colonel Carne's comment on his release"The food was rotten and I was damn bored" is one of the best examples of a stiff upper lip that I've heard of.
  10. In MAD-22, why are they all wearing their steel helmets backwards? Is it to make them look more like the US helmet, to keep the sun out of their eyes, or was that the Korean War definition of 'ally'?
  11. I believe this book is titled 'The Edge of the Sword'
  12. According to one book, when in the POW camp Carne was interrogated by the Chinese, apparently trying to brainwash him into becoming a communist. Big mistake. One day his men were listening outside the hut as his Chinese interrogator finally tripped him up on an argument.

    'You make mistake! You make mistake!'

    Carnes reply was devastating.

    'I am a British Officer. I dont make mistakes'.


    Nice find of the photos, thanks for upping them.
  13. Top pictures, especially MAD-18. I had spotted 'Horror Fuckley' too - but couldn't help noticing the cadets lining the route. They knew how to stand to attention in those days.
  14. Re post number one; Michael Cain was in a film called "A Hill in Korea". I have a copy of it on video. His is the very last name in the credits.
  15. Great stuff Trip :)